Berry House sold
After more than a year of trying, the Town has sold 127 W. 5th South St., also known as the Berry House and The Teacherage, to David and Bonny Ferguson.
According to the sale contract, which closed on Thursday afternoon, the property was purchased for $300,000.
The Town first bought the historic property in 2008 for $700,000 of Hospitality Tax funds with the intent to use it as an event space.
However, after realizing the cost associated with repairing the property and making it handicapped accessible, the Town Council voted to try to sell the property in October 2012.
“Council felt that property had become a continuing money pit,” said Mayor Bill Collins. “It appears to have been a poor investment by a previous council that was compounded by dramatic declines in real estate values over the last recession.”
“More money was needed to improve the property and council was not willing to commit to that,” he said.
The Town entered into a contract on the property with the buyers last month, but had to wait for the council to approve motions to sell and rezone the property at their November meeting before scheduling a closing date.
According to the Town’s realtor, Candy Pratt, the Fergusons are moving to the historic district from Wescott Plantation.
While she would not give any detailed information on the couple, Pratt did say they are excited to move to town – their 13-year-old daughter attends Rollings Middle School of the Arts – and are planning to work with an architect to renovate the home and gardens.
Pratt would not reveal much detailed information about the buyers, but she did say, “They’ve done a lot of research on the house, have looked back at the history and what’s been done to it in the past, and are very excited about moving forward and making it shine and look great.”
“I believe the property will make a wonderful home for the new owners,” said Mayor Collins, noting that with new owners the propety “will go back on the tax roll.”
The Journal Scene has been unable to contact the Fergusons.